WASHINGTON, June 27, 2017 – Today, the World Bank approved $26.5 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to increase electricity access in targeted rural areas of Zambia.
The Electricity Service Access Project will provide connections to the national grid for about 22,000 low-income households and about 1,000 MSEs in rural areas.
“The majority of the beneficiaries will receive electricity services for the first time. Access to electricity in rural areas is important because it helps replace consumption of kerosene, diesel, dry cell batteries, and alternative fuels such as firewood that contributes to deforestation,” said Ina-Marlene Ruthenberg, World Bank Country Manager for Zambia.
Overall national electricity access currently stands at 31 percent. While this figure is low in itself, it masks the significant disparity that exists between access in urban areas that stands at 67% and that in rural areas which is only 4%.
“This project therefore supports the Government of the Republic of Zambia priority of increasing electricity access in rural areas, and is aligned with two of the strategies that relate to energy in the recently launched Seventh National Development Plan (2017 – 2021), namely “Promotion of renewable and alternative energy” and “Improved access to Rural and Peri-Urban areas,” said Joseph Kapika, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist.
The project shall also support the Government in the development of a National Electrification Strategy that will provide a firm basis for further expansion of electricity access in the country.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.
For more information about the World Bank’s work in Zambia visit:www.worldbank.org/en/Zambia
For more information about IDA, please visit: www.worldbank.org/ida